Web Design (Sundays): Navigation Part 1

Navigation Part I. It’s so important and should probably be one of – if not the – most important features in a website. Navigation has two parts: the front end and the intrinsic (or built-in) end.

The front end is what the consumers see. In other words, it’s what we see. We call up a site and we see the buttons/links/images that will lead us around the site.

A very quick and very brief look at the creation of website navigation.

A very quick and very brief look at the creation of website navigation.

The front end is what the consumers see. In other words, it’s what we see. We call up a site and we see the buttons/links/images that will lead us around the site.

I’m calling the back-end of website navigation intrinsic because it’s easiest to think of being built-in to the site. If the concept of the website doesn’t focus on ease of use for us, you can bet no one is hanging around long to figure out how to get around the site.

Navigation needs to be a focal point in a site from the get-go. When the developers are drawing up the site, the first step is to brainstorm what pages and content there will be. The next step is how it is all connected either by using charts, webs, maps – you name it. Then the front-end navigation needs to fulfill these back-end plans.

It’s a tall order certainly. But there are some basic things to think about if you’re creating a webpage or things to take in next time you’re web surfing. Continue reading

Motivation Monday: Do What You Love

Take it from one of the greatest inventors and business leaders of the modern-day technological industry: Steve Jobs. It’s as simple as this – to do great work, you must do what you love.

Poster I designed to embody Steve Jobs quote.

Poster I designed to embody Steve Jobs’ quote. The background is Chicago font, which was named after one of Jobs’ favorite cities.

My motivation for this Motivation Monday’s poster has come from Jobs and his appreciation of type. As I pointed out in my first post, Jobs spoke to Stanford’s graduating class of 2005. His appreciation of type and his pivotal role he played in pioneering the introduction of different typefaces on Macintosh computers in 1984 forever opened the gates for digital type. Continue reading

WDW: Two Great Website Designs

WDW. Web Design Wednesdays: Great couple of websites.

This week, I’d like to feature two websites I ran across that have great designs and really work for the industry they’re in. The first, Momentum, is a web design studio that crafts other websites and tackles clients’ digital interests. I would hope all web design agencies would have an impressive website to showcase their services; however, it is not always the case.

Momentum utilizes a minimum yet dramatic approach. The content is simple but very engaging. It is clear where you are as a viewer. It is also very clear where you can go to explore their firm – who they are, what they do and where they are located. The picture provokes many emotions and is a dramatic staple to ground the homepage.

Momentum Homepage

Momentum, a web design group, has a clear but engaging homepage.

That brings up a very important point as well. Every site – no matter the type of business the company conducts – needs to have a clear way of expressing those three things. The three W’s: who, what and where.

Continue reading

How to update your website design in three simple steps

It’s difficult to put together a website that’s pleasing to the eye, simple to navigate and, well, gets the point across quickly. However, all websites should focus on doing so.

These are the three main ideas to think about when updating your website design below.

  1. Font choice
  2. LAYOUT
  3. Color selection

Font Choice

If you couldn’t already tell, I like fonts. As Ellen Lupton said, “Type is what language looks like.”

To update the page with fonts, choose up to three fonts. I wouldn’t suggest more than three. Even two fonts can create drastic effects on a page.

Here’s what to focus on: Use contrast – serif and sans serif fonts, explore various sizes and try different widths.
This can create a big difference in moments.

Continue reading

‘Tis the season for…

LOVE, Robert Indiana

LOVE.

It’s February. How is it already February? Anyways, stores are chock-full of shades of pink and red.

To kick off this month, I thought it important to give a shout out to one of the most iconic images in Indiana.

Robert Indiana, born Robert Clark, created this image in 1958. According to the Robert Indiana Wikipedia article, the image first appeared above a series of poems.

And now it’s Indiana’s most iconic image. An L and O stacked on top of V and E with the O tilted to the right. These sculptures have appeared in multiple cities across the country and became a popular stamp created for the Christmas season by the Museum of Modern Art.

I love the statement of the sculpture and all it requires is a font choice. Can anyone guess what font this is?

Wide World of Fonts

It’s the wide world of fonts. There are fonts designed for cookbooks, instructional packaging and even spray paint – yes, there’s a font, WC Rhesus, where each letter makes different paint splotches when typed.

This is especially handy when you need a quick couple paint patterns on a design.

wc_rhesus

But what font is correct to use? What makes the right cookbook font? Why is it “correct?”

At first, I thought, “Who cares?” Then, I chalked it up to “designer talk.” However, that simply wasn’t good enough to satisfy my curiosity. The question remained. It actually strengthened, especially when I began studying communication design and layout.

Fonts quickly became central to my life. They simply matter.

So what’s to them? Who creates them? How can you analyze the typeface choice? Most importantly, what does it say about you? What does it say to your readers?

This blog will share where some of the font designs, or typefaces, came from, and why they work on the web. There’s a Font for That is a collection of resources to find typefaces, designs and guides.

And if you don’t see the value in exploring this field, listen to 3:23 – 4:45 of Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford University. He certainly appreciated the value of such an art and science.